The New England Patriots (2-2), led by quarterback Tom Brady, meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1), led by quarterback Jameis Winston, in an NFL Week 5 matchup at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday night, October 5, 2017 (10/5/17).
The final impressive stat line somewhat belies the struggle Brady and the Patriots offense endured throughout the night against a game Bucs defense.
The ever-reliable Brady threw an interception on his first drive of the game, his first pick of the season. It was certainly the kind of performance the defense needed. Dwayne Allen is expected to start at tight end for the Patriots. To get a chance to look him in the eye and shake his hand, it just felt good. He busted a 40-yard punt return that set the scene for Chris Hogan's touchdown catch a few plays later. But sending three or four pass rushers to harass the quarterback won't work so well in their Week 7 Super Bowl rematch with Matt Ryan and the Falcons. They can play any personnel group, they can change from week-to-week, they can be in even-front one week, an odd-front next week, they will play dime the whole game.
The Patriots defense did give up some big plays on the ground.
There were a few defensive penalties that kept drives going and almost led to the team shooting themselves in the foot once again.
Will the Patriots bounce back from last week's loss to beat the Bucs and cover as a road favorite tonight? In 2016, Aguayo finished 22 of 31 on field goals (71 percent). Luckily, Folk missed the long attempt. The Patriots did want to come out of the game with a losing record and also possibly fall further behind the Buffalo Bills. That's where playing without tight end Rob Gronkowski (thigh) hurt them most.
Run to help the D: As expected, Tom Brady is having a blast with a full contingent of weapons, leading the National Football League in passing yards. Thursday night he made those plays throughout the game. He was 4 for 4 Thursday night, including a 48-yard dart with 1 minute 10 seconds left to put the Patriots up 19-14. Former coach Jon Gruden, who led the Bucs to their only Super Bowl title after being acquired in a trade Glazer approved 15 years ago, will be inducted on December 18. But at the very least, they've shown that they have leaders in the locker room that can move the unit in the right direction. Brady then took the offense down the field where they would wind up getting another field goal, adding to to their lead 19-14.
"They've got a nickel package, a dime package (and a) quarter package".